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on 6 March 2014
The physical installation of this card was an extremely simple affair. Inateck included accessories in the box to accommodate several different system configurations. For providing power directly to the card instead of letting it draw through the motherboard, there is a SATA power splitter along with a 4-pin Molex to SATA y-adapter harness, which allows you to connect to both old and current generation power supplies. A standard mounting bracket comes pre-installed on the card, but a short bracket is also included in the box for small form factor cases. The card also has a 20-pin USB 3.0 header on its rear for connecting other USB expansion ports to it (such as a front panel device).

Being a PCI-E 1x card, you can install this into any available PCI-E slot in your system regardless of size, from 1x to 16x. Installing the card into a larger slot won't provide any additional speed, but it will still work just fine.

Speaking of speed, I performed both synthetic and real-world benchmarks to compare this expansion card to the built-in USB2.0 ports in my system. My test system was a Dell XPS9100 tower (i7-930 processor with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) in conjuction with a Western Digital My Passport 500GB USB 3.0 portal hard drive.

Using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3a, I obtained the following results:

Dell USB2.0 Sequential Read, 1000MB: 33.94 MB/s
Dell USB2.0 Sequential Write, 1000MB: 26.41 MB/s
Dell USB2.0 Random Read, 512KB: 20.25 MB/s
Dell USB2.0 Random Write, 512KB: 12.87 MB/s

Inateck USB3.0 Sequential Read, 1000MB: 49.34 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 Sequential Write, 1000MB: 48.75 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 Random Read, 512KB: 25.05 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 Random Write, 512KB: 12.88 MB/s

The synthetic benchmarks show an increase in speed using the Inateck USB3.0 expansion card, especially for sequential reads and writes, but it's not as large of a margin as I was expecting. Of course, synthetic benchmarks are just that; they don't necessarily indicate real-world performance. As they say, that's why we run the races. For a more realistic test, I transferred some 10GB and 15GB files back and forth to the drive. The below figures are from each test after the transfer speeds leveled out. For the write tests going from the Desktop to the Portable Drive, I've also listed the initial speeds from the first few seconds of the transfer in parentheses after the leveled out speeds.

Dell USB2.0 10GB file, Read: 31.9 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 10GB file, Read: 86.4 MB/s

Dell USB2.0 15GB file, Write: 42.7 MB/s (initial speed: 86.4 MB/s)
Inateck USB3.0 15GB file, Write: 73.3 MB/s (initial speed: 170 MB/s)

As you can see, there is a much greater difference between the USB3.0 and USB2.0 speeds in the real world file transfer tests. The Inateck USB3.0 expansion card has been a breath of fresh air for moving large files between my portable drive and my desktop computer. More and more external hard drives on the market these days are using USB3.0, so making the small investment to upgrade your computer with USB3.0 connections will help you make the most of your hard drive purchase by enabling it to use the maximum transfer speeds possible.

My only minor issue with this package at all was with the instructions - specifically, the support page link. A driver disc is included in the package, but I always recommend visiting a manufacturer's website to get the most up-to-date drivers for your system when installing new hardware. In the instructions, it tells you to visit a website to obtain the current drivers, but the website address has a typo in it ("dirvers" instead of "drivers"), and the link given is also for the German version of the website. I instead went to the "" English website, which I found much easier to navigate. I also found newer versions of the drivers listed there than on their German page.

I used the drivers on the included disc during my initial installation of this card, but I had problems with my USB drive disconnecting and reconnecting during my tests. Uninstalling those drivers and installing the newest drivers from the website (listed in the comments section of this review) solved my problem. At the time of this review, the newest Windows 7 driver is Version

All in all, I was very impressed with the performance increase I saw after installing this card and using it with my USB3.0 portable hard drive. Inateck's package is well thought out and easy to install; I would highly recommend this card to anyone looking to upgrade their computer with USB3.0 support.

Review disclosure: I was provided a sample of this product for the purposes of examination and review. No review or particular rating was promised in return, and the opinions expressed here are my own following my first-hand experiences with this product.
11 comment|68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Having gone through some reviews, I was cautious that the Inateck would have compatibility issues with my external WD drives. So once mounted I immediately connected my 3 WD external drives, including the latest 2TB My Passport Ultra, and am pleased to report that I have no problems whatsoever.

Installing the card is very easy, and no force is needed to secure it in place. The bundled accessories come in very handy, as the USB card needs to be powered via the included cable in order to function. A set of mounting screws are also included for those with older style cases.

The comprehensive English only, (I hate going through a manual with a zillion languages) well laid out colour user guide should be read prior to proceeding with the installation.
It specifically mentions "Please make sure the hardware is installed before installing the driver". The mentioned driver is on an included CD.

Supported systems are Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32&64 bit)

My Windows 7 64bit recognised and installed the corresponding drivers in a jiffy.

I have had no problems whatsoever with this USB3 card, and definitely give it the thumbs up. Great buy!
0Comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 December 2013
The Inateck PCI-E to USB 3.0 expansion card is a great little upgrade for the price.

***** In the box: *****

Upon opening the box, i found the PCI-E card which was nicely protected in an antistatic bag.
1 x spare back plate and screws, to allow the PCI-E card to be fitted into a small chassis that requires a half height card.
1 x SATA power splitter - to allow a single SATA power cable to be slit into 2.
1 x IDE power adapter - to allow a single IDE power connector to be converted to 2 SATA power connectors.
1 x User Manual
1 x Driver CD

***** The installation is very easy: *****

* Open the chassis and locate the PCI-E slot.
* Slot the PCI-E to USB 3.0 card into the slot and screw it in.
* attach a spare SATA power cable to the card (or use one of the supplied power Y cables).
* Boot the computer and then install the driver (I chose to go straight to and download the latest driver, but a driver is supplied on CD with the card).

***** Testing *****

Unfortunately my aging motherboard is only equipped with a PCI-E v1.0 slot, so i knew that i wouldn't be able to take full advantage of the theoretical 5Gbps transfer speeds that the card could possibly manage when using a PCI-E v2.0 slot, but i hoped that the card would offer atleast a small boost in transfer speeds over my current USB 2 connection.

I ran a CrystalDisk Mark test on my Buffalo USB 3.0 MiniStation Slim HDD connected to my usual USB 2 interface - the Sequential Read speed was 36.09 MB/s while the Sequential Write speed was 27.35 MB/s.

I then connected the Buffalo USB 3.0 MiniStation Slim HDD to the new Inateck PCI-E to USB 3.0 card and ran the CrystalDisk Mark test again. This time, the Sequential Read speed went up to 112.7 MB/s (almost 3 times as fast as USB 2), while the Sequential Write speed went up to 111.7 MB/s - just over 4 times as fast as when using the USB 2 connection.

// See product images for screen shots \\

A huge improvement in both read and write speeds - much better than i was expecting to get from my PCI-E v1.0 slot.

***** Conclusion *****

Overall, i am extremely happy with the Inateck PCI-E to USB 3.0 card and would definitely recommend buying one if your current motherboard does not have USB 3.0 capabilities.

The increased data transfer speeds are more than i was expecting and the card itself, seems to be of good quality and the black back plate of the card looks great.

The bundled power cables and the inclusion of the half-height back plate complete, make this a great value for money product and i will definitely be buying another one to use in my HP MicroServer.
review image review image
11 comment|24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 July 2013
I have installed this card in a 2010 Mac Pro and it works out of the box. It is recognised by Mountain Lion (10.8.4) as USB 3.0 Superspeed Bus. I believe it has the same Fresco chipset that Apple use in their hardware.

The card does require additional SATA power, for this I used a SATA extension cable (search Amazon for: 0.3M Internal SATA Power Extension Cable) and cut the guide off one side so it fits into the motherboard socket on drive bay 4. Alternatively you could use one of the included splitters for multiple cards or molex connection.

Currently I only have a USB 3.0 card reader, so haven't really been able to put it through it's paces, but transfers do seem noticeably quicker.
11 comment|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
My Dell XPS computer only has USB2.0 ports, so I was keen to try this USB 3.0 card out.

It comes with a driver disk, which I didn't need, and a Molex to SATA power cable converter. What I really needed was an extension cable / splitter for my SATA power cable, which I bought separately (I bought one of these: Akasa AK-CBPW05-30 SATA Power Splitter). The power cable is needed, because the PCI-E edge-connectors can't deliver enough power for the four USB3.0 ports (which should be capable of delivering 900mA each, compared to the 500mA that USB 2.0 ports can deliver).

When I fitted the card, I got my first ever Windows 8 blue screen of death. The cause turned out to be dust in the PCI-E socket in my computer: after cleaning the socket out, the card installed itself with the Microsoft Windows driver, and has worked perfectly ever since.

The speeds you can get with USB 3.0 are pretty impressive, assuming you have a USB 3.0 device to connect, of course; otherwise, the ports act just like USB 2.0 ports. I'm using a Satechi LockDown USB 3.0 fitted with a 1TB 2.5" disk drive. Using disk drives I had to hand, I was getting 102MB/s, which means a 2GB file copied in 24 seconds. By comparison, USB 2.0 gave me 27MB/s, taking a whole minute longer to copy 2GB, whereas an eSATA disk was just a little faster than USB 3.0, at 110MB/s, 22 seconds to copy 2GB. At these higher speeds, the disk transport may well have been affecting the throughput speed.

You don't really appreciate how much faster USB 3.0 is until you've tried it. Being able to copy files less than a third of the time it used to take is pretty significant if you have a lot of data to move around.

The best thing you can say about a card like this is that it does its job and you forget it's there. That's what this card is like.

Note: I was sent a sample card from Inateck for review purposes.
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on 6 December 2015
With the 2 internal USB sockets this card seemed ideal for use with my Akasa USB3 2.5" mounted card reader/USB front port which uses two USB type-A leads for it's connection, leaving only a single USB3 port free on my existing 2 port card. I installed it in my Windows 10 system and didn't need to install any drivers, it just worked. In Windows device manager I could see the new Fresno Logic controller device along with a USB3 root hub and two USB3 hubs. I didn't install any driver from the included CD or from the Inateck website. My USB3 external HDDs (WD Passport 500GB and WD Passport Ultra 2TB) worked fine with this card and delivered the expected performance of about 70MB/s for copying a 1.7GB file from the system drive to the 2TB WD Passport Ultra. Everything seemed to work just fine but I came across an issue with any USB3 device that connects using a USB3 type-B cable: transfer speeds went down to a few hundred KB/s with a 3.5" external disk and in the case of a SATA-drive disk caddy, it would just disconnect itself after 30 seconds or so of copying files. On a laptop with integrated USB3 ports, the same devices worked fine with the same cables so it does appear to be an issue with the Inateck USB3 PCI-e card.
I contacted Inatek to request a refund/replacement and they've been very helpful throughout and offered a partial refund, so in the end I decided to keep the Inateck USB3 card as it works just fine with most of my USB3 devices and provides plenty of ports which I badly need. I'll continue to also use my existing 2-port USB3 card that works fine with everything but I'll just use it with my USB3 type-B connected devices.
I would be interested to find out whether others have had issues with type-B connected devices as I've seen no mention in any other reviews of this product.
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on 11 October 2015
This is a review of the 4 port USB 3.0 PCI-e expansion card by Inateck.

To extract the most out of a 4 year old motherboard I decided to purchase this card to add some more flexibility to my connected peripherals, mainly for my USB 3.0 multi-card reader to perform to its full potential.

While I must say I considered multiple options, this one caught my eye due to its already established good reviews, good value for money, as well as being exactly what I needed.

The card arrived in a simple box with Inateck written on each face, and inside one finds the card in an anti-static bag, a 4-pin male molex to 2 x SATA female adapter, as well as a SATA male to 2 x female SATA adapter, allowing many options for connecting the to the single required SATA power port on the card itself. Also included was an instruction manual, a driver CD, and two mounting screws for the bracket on the card, none of which I needed to use but is nice to find included.

After a week of use and testing, I have had absolutely no problems with it. Upon receiving the card, I simply plugged it into one of my spare PCI express lanes, connected an unused SATA power cable from my power supply, booted it up and it immediately began working like it had been there the whole time. No drivers necessary (on Windows 10), no messing around, it just works. The card itself has a small footprint, and should have no problem fitting into even the smallest of cases.

To test the product - as shown in the attached image - transferring a large number of photos from my CF card saturated it's bandwidth, with speeds varying between 85-100% of the maximum speed my CF memory card allows, and has offered a great improvement as well as longevity over interfacing via USB 2.0.

Overall I am certainly pleased with my purchase, and I would not hesitate to recommend this product to anyone looking for a way to add more, or even simply add 4 USB 3.0 ports to their machine. It is infinitely useful and will prove most useful in the years to come.
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on 13 January 2015
I needed USB3 in my 2 (USB2 only) servers as using Hyper-V with some large VHDX files. I looked at cheaper options but reviews were mixed so just decided to go for these more expensive cards as the reviews seemed a lot better. So far that has proved to be a sound idea! One bonus with this card is that you get a 4 pin molex to 2 SATA power as well as a SATA power to 2 SATA power adaptor. I needed one type for one server and the other type for the other server. Some other cards only give you one type as far as I could see.

Installed in my Fujitsu TX100 S3p and HP ML110 G6 servers (both Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V) and worked straight away without needing the CD. I bought some WD Elements (2Tb and 1Tb) USB3 portable drives as well for the backup. So far only backed up the TX100 which has 4 * 1Tb WD RE4 Drives in RAID 10 using Altaro Hyper-V backup got about 32MB/s (156.43GB (315Gb uncompressed) backup in 1h 22m) which as the software was also compressing as it went along and it is a lower end server, I was more than happy with.

Previously on the ML110 G6 with RAID 1 drives the USB 2 backup I was only hitting around 7MB/s.

So I would say, save yourself some aggro and buy this more expensive card rather than the cheap ones. I am assuming the 4 port version would be as good.

Edit: I have now used Altaro Hyper-V backup to copy the primary backup disk to the offsite backup disk, both attached to this card and Windows Resource Monitor was showing upto 100MB/s Reading from Primary and Writing to the Offsite drive, so very happy.!
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on 6 February 2014
As promised, this card arrived on Monday [a little late in the day, but these guys are busy] having ordered it the day before - last Sunday 2nd February 2014.

Because it arrived in the evening I thought it best to leave installing it until the following morning; however, my wife reminded me of the early appointments I needed to attend and pointed out it was only 1800hrs or so, plenty of time to add a few "silly USB 3.0 thingies" before bedtime. Besides, she said, I was dead clever so it would not take long. Well, I am not really all that 'dead clever' and quite frankly, I was worried I would make a hash of fitting the card.

As it turned out, including shutting down my PC and firing it up again after fitting the card took no more than 20 minutes. It was easy and because of the instruction booklet, I had no difficulty in understanding how to get the power to the unit. I installed the drivers from the supplied CD and bingo! I have four extra USB 30 slots on the rear of my tower.

My operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and the card was recognized immediately.

My concerns regarding the possibility I had purchased a card that was meant to be fitted to a USB 2.0 MOBO were unfounded. My MOBO is a Gigabyte-78LMT-USB 3.0 and the transfer speeds are phenomenal. The reason I was worried stems from an earlier experience with card reader unit for the front panel of one of my other PC's which also has a USB 3.0 MOBO [an Asus in this case] and the unit had four USB 3.0 slots as well as the card readers so I thought it a great buy; however, the description was not very clear - whenever are they? - and as a result, the USB 3.0 slots did not work at all, and still do not - worse, the card reader has given up the ghost too - all because it was not made clear that the unit was designed to be fitted to a USB 2.0 MOBO and the USB 3.0 slots whilst accepting USB 3.0 flash drives and external USB 3.0 hard drives was only intended to 'upgrade' At least, that is how I see it, perhaps someone has a different idea?

In any event, the Inatek Superspeed 4 PCI-E x1 to USB 3.0 Expansion Card was easy peasy to fit and works wonderfully well - so far anyway, it has, after all, only been installed for a couple of days. If I do not add to this post, then you can assume it still is.
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I've had a Windows 7 (previously Windows Vista) in my living room serving as a media center for a few years. The PC works fine, but over time it had become noticeably slow compared to the new machines I have. I've upgraded memory and that has helped a lot. Now I had an opportunity to upgrade the USB slots to the latest 3.0 standard, and that has made more of a difference than I had originally anticipated.

The first thing you notice about this expansion card is its build quality. This is not some cheap knock-off card, but a well-designed and solidly manufactured piece of hardware. The card was easy to install - it just snapped into the appropriate slot. Most of the modern PCs are designed with the upgradability in mind, and many of them can be opened and upgraded without requiring any tools. However, if you have never upgraded a computer or are generally elecronics-phobic, you might want to consult with a family member or a friend who is more into these tasks.

The card was immediately recognized by my system, but only as a 2.0 USB standard. I installed the additional drivers that came with the included CD, and after that the card worked as advertised. I only have a handful of external USB 3 accessories (including a USB 3.0 HDD), but the card worked perfectly with all of them. The transfer speeds were quite noticeable faster, but I haven't really benchmarked them.

The reason why this card is particularly useful in the media center is a) helps with the playback of large video files directly from an external HDD, and b) USB 3 allows you (with appropriate add-ons and software) to use it to for additional monitors and TVs.

This is indeed a very good card that has completely lived up to its promise. I highly recommend it.
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